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2020


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Kernel Conditional Moment Test via Maximum Moment Restriction

Muandet, K., Jitkrittum, W., Kübler, J. M.

Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), August 2020 (conference) Accepted

[BibTex]

2020

[BibTex]


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Bayesian Online Prediction of Change Points

Agudelo-España, D., Gomez-Gonzalez, S., Bauer, S., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

Proceedings of the 36th International Conference on Uncertainty in Artificial Intelligence (UAI), August 2020 (conference) Accepted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Algorithmic Recourse: from Counterfactual Explanations to Interventions

Karimi, A., Schölkopf, B., Valera, I.

37th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), July 2020 (conference) Submitted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Model-Agnostic Counterfactual Explanations for Consequential Decisions

Karimi, A., Barthe, G., Balle, B., Valera, I.

Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), June 2020 (conference) Accepted

arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]


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A Continuous-time Perspective for Modeling Acceleration in Riemannian Optimization

F Alimisis, F., Orvieto, A., Becigneul, G., Lucchi, A.

Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), June 2020 (conference) Accepted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Kernel Conditional Density Operators

Schuster, I., Mollenhauer, M., Klus, S., Muandet, K.

Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), Proceedings of Machine Learning Research, June 2020 (conference) Accepted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Kernel Mean Embedding Approach to Reducing Conservativeness in Stochastic Programming and Control

Zhu, J., Diehl, M., Schölkopf, B.

2nd Annual Conference on Learning for Dynamics and Control (L4DC), June 2020 (conference) Accepted

arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]


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Disentangling Factors of Variations Using Few Labels

Locatello, F., Tschannen, M., Bauer, S., Rätsch, G., Schölkopf, B., Bachem, O.

8th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), April 2020 (conference)

arXiv link (url) [BibTex]

arXiv link (url) [BibTex]


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Mixed-curvature Variational Autoencoders

Skopek, O., Ganea, O., Becigneul, G.

8th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), April 2020 (conference)

link (url) [BibTex]

link (url) [BibTex]


Non-linear interlinkages and key objectives amongst the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals
Non-linear interlinkages and key objectives amongst the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals

Laumann, F., von Kügelgen, J., Barahona, M.

ICLR 2020 Workshop "Tackling Climate Change with Machine Learning", April 2020 (conference)

arXiv PDF [BibTex]

arXiv PDF [BibTex]


From Variational to Deterministic Autoencoders
From Variational to Deterministic Autoencoders

Ghosh*, P., Sajjadi*, M. S. M., Vergari, A., Black, M. J., Schölkopf, B.

8th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR) , April 2020, *equal contribution (conference) Accepted

Abstract
Variational Autoencoders (VAEs) provide a theoretically-backed framework for deep generative models. However, they often produce “blurry” images, which is linked to their training objective. Sampling in the most popular implementation, the Gaussian VAE, can be interpreted as simply injecting noise to the input of a deterministic decoder. In practice, this simply enforces a smooth latent space structure. We challenge the adoption of the full VAE framework on this specific point in favor of a simpler, deterministic one. Specifically, we investigate how substituting stochasticity with other explicit and implicit regularization schemes can lead to a meaningful latent space without having to force it to conform to an arbitrarily chosen prior. To retrieve a generative mechanism for sampling new data points, we propose to employ an efficient ex-post density estimation step that can be readily adopted both for the proposed deterministic autoencoders as well as to improve sample quality of existing VAEs. We show in a rigorous empirical study that regularized deterministic autoencoding achieves state-of-the-art sample quality on the common MNIST, CIFAR-10 and CelebA datasets.

arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]


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On Mutual Information Maximization for Representation Learning

Tschannen, M., Djolonga, J., Rubenstein, P. K., Gelly, S., Lucic, M.

8th International Conference on Learning Representations (ICLR), April 2020 (conference) Accepted

arXiv link (url) [BibTex]

arXiv link (url) [BibTex]


Towards causal generative scene models via competition of experts
Towards causal generative scene models via competition of experts

von Kügelgen*, J., Ustyuzhaninov*, I., Gehler, P., Bethge, M., Schölkopf, B.

ICLR 2020 Workshop "Causal Learning for Decision Making", April 2020, *equal contribution (conference)

arXiv PDF [BibTex]

arXiv PDF [BibTex]


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Adaptation and Robust Learning of Probabilistic Movement Primitives

Gomez-Gonzalez, S., Neumann, G., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

IEEE Transactions on Robotics, 36(2):366-379, IEEE, March 2020 (article)

arXiv DOI Project Page [BibTex]

arXiv DOI Project Page [BibTex]


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Real Time Trajectory Prediction Using Deep Conditional Generative Models

Gomez-Gonzalez, S., Prokudin, S., Schölkopf, B., Peters, J.

IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters, 5(2):970-976, IEEE, January 2020 (article)

arXiv DOI [BibTex]


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More Powerful Selective Kernel Tests for Feature Selection

Lim, J. N., Yamada, M., Jitkrittum, W., Terada, Y., Matsui, S., Shimodaira, H.

Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), 2020 (conference) To be published

arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]


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Computationally Tractable Riemannian Manifolds for Graph Embeddings

Cruceru, C., Becigneul, G., Ganea, O.

37th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2020 (conference) Submitted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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A Real-Robot Dataset for Assessing Transferability of Learned Dynamics Models

Agudelo-España, D., Zadaianchuk, A., Wenk, P., Garg, A., Akpo, J., Grimminger, F., Viereck, J., Naveau, M., Righetti, L., Martius, G., Krause, A., Schölkopf, B., Bauer, S., Wüthrich, M.

IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2020 (conference) Accepted

Project Page PDF [BibTex]

Project Page PDF [BibTex]


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An Adaptive Optimizer for Measurement-Frugal Variational Algorithms

Kübler, J. M., Arrasmith, A., Cincio, L., Coles, P. J.

Quantum, 4, pages: 263, 2020 (article)

link (url) DOI [BibTex]

link (url) DOI [BibTex]


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Practical Accelerated Optimization on Riemannian Manifolds

F Alimisis, F., Orvieto, A., Becigneul, G., Lucchi, A.

37th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2020 (conference) Submitted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Fair Decisions Despite Imperfect Predictions

Kilbertus, N., Gomez Rodriguez, M., Schölkopf, B., Muandet, K., Valera, I.

Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics (AISTATS), 2020 (conference) Accepted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Constant Curvature Graph Convolutional Networks

Bachmann*, G., Becigneul*, G., Ganea, O.

37th International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML), 2020, *equal contribution (conference) Submitted

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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Divide-and-Conquer Monte Carlo Tree Search for goal directed planning

Parascandolo*, G., Buesing*, L., Merel, J., Hasenclever, L., Aslanides, J., Hamrick, J. B., Heess, N., Neitz, A., Weber, T.

2020, *equal contribution (conference) Submitted

arXiv [BibTex]

arXiv [BibTex]

2011


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Statistical estimation for optimization problems on graphs

Langovoy, M., Sra, S.

In pages: 1-6, NIPS Workshop on Discrete Optimization in Machine Learning (DISCML): Uncertainty, Generalization and Feedback , December 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Large graphs abound in machine learning, data mining, and several related areas. A useful step towards analyzing such graphs is that of obtaining certain summary statistics — e.g., or the expected length of a shortest path between two nodes, or the expected weight of a minimum spanning tree of the graph, etc. These statistics provide insight into the structure of a graph, and they can help predict global properties of a graph. Motivated thus, we propose to study statistical properties of structured subgraphs (of a given graph), in particular, to estimate the expected objective function value of a combinatorial optimization problem over these subgraphs. The general task is very difficult, if not unsolvable; so for concreteness we describe a more specific statistical estimation problem based on spanning trees. We hope that our position paper encourages others to also study other types of graphical structures for which one can prove nontrivial statistical estimates.

PDF Web [BibTex]

2011

PDF Web [BibTex]


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On the discardability of data in Support Vector Classification problems

Del Favero, S., Varagnolo, D., Dinuzzo, F., Schenato, L., Pillonetto, G.

In pages: 3210-3215, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 50th IEEE Conference on Decision and Control and European Control Conference (CDC - ECC), December 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
We analyze the problem of data sets reduction for support vector classification. The work is also motivated by distributed problems, where sensors collect binary measurements at different locations moving inside an environment that needs to be divided into a collection of regions labeled in two different ways. The scope is to let each agent retain and exchange only those measurements that are mostly informative for the collective reconstruction of the decision boundary. For the case of separable classes, we provide the exact conditions and an efficient algorithm to determine if an element in the training set can become a support vector when new data arrive. The analysis is then extended to the non-separable case deriving a sufficient discardability condition and a general data selection scheme for classification. Numerical experiments relative to the distributed problem show that the proposed procedure allows the agents to exchange a small amount of the collected data to obtain a highly predictive decision boundary.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Causal Inference on Discrete Data using Additive Noise Models

Peters, J., Janzing, D., Schölkopf, B.

IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, 33(12):2436-2450, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Inferring the causal structure of a set of random variables from a finite sample of the joint distribution is an important problem in science. The case of two random variables is particularly challenging since no (conditional) independences can be exploited. Recent methods that are based on additive noise models suggest the following principle: Whenever the joint distribution {\bf P}^{(X,Y)} admits such a model in one direction, e.g., Y=f(X)+N, N \perp\kern-6pt \perp X, but does not admit the reversed model X=g(Y)+\tilde{N}, \tilde{N} \perp\kern-6pt \perp Y, one infers the former direction to be causal (i.e., X\rightarrow Y). Up to now, these approaches only dealt with continuous variables. In many situations, however, the variables of interest are discrete or even have only finitely many states. In this work, we extend the notion of additive noise models to these cases. We prove that it almost never occurs that additive noise models can be fit in both directions. We further propose an efficient algorithm that is able to perform this way of causal inference on finite samples of discrete variables. We show that the algorithm works on both synthetic and real data sets.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Spontaneous epigenetic variation in the Arabidopsis thaliana methylome

Becker, C., Hagmann, J., Müller, J., Koenig, D., Stegle, O., Borgwardt, K., Weigel, D.

Nature, 480(7376):245-249, December 2011 (article)

Abstract
Heritable epigenetic polymorphisms, such as differential cytosine methylation, can underlie phenotypic variation1, 2. Moreover, wild strains of the plant Arabidopsis thaliana differ in many epialleles3, 4, and these can influence the expression of nearby genes1, 2. However, to understand their role in evolution5, it is imperative to ascertain the emergence rate and stability of epialleles, including those that are not due to structural variation. We have compared genome-wide DNA methylation among 10 A. thaliana lines, derived 30 generations ago from a common ancestor6. Epimutations at individual positions were easily detected, and close to 30,000 cytosines in each strain were differentially methylated. In contrast, larger regions of contiguous methylation were much more stable, and the frequency of changes was in the same low range as that of DNA mutations7. Like individual positions, the same regions were often affected by differential methylation in independent lines, with evidence for recurrent cycles of forward and reverse mutations. Transposable elements and short interfering RNAs have been causally linked to DNA methylation8. In agreement, differentially methylated sites were farther from transposable elements and showed less association with short interfering RNA expression than invariant positions. The biased distribution and frequent reversion of epimutations have important implications for the potential contribution of sequence-independent epialleles to plant evolution.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Information, learning and falsification

Balduzzi, D.

In pages: 1-4, NIPS Philosophy and Machine Learning Workshop, December 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
There are (at least) three approaches to quantifying information. The first, algorithmic information or Kolmogorov complexity, takes events as strings and, given a universal Turing machine, quantifies the information content of a string as the length of the shortest program producing it [1]. The second, Shannon information, takes events as belonging to ensembles and quantifies the information resulting from observing the given event in terms of the number of alternate events that have been ruled out [2]. The third, statistical learning theory, has introduced measures of capacity that control (in part) the expected risk of classifiers [3]. These capacities quantify the expectations regarding future data that learning algorithms embed into classifiers. Solomonoff and Hutter have applied algorithmic information to prove remarkable results on universal induction. Shannon information provides the mathematical foundation for communication and coding theory. However, both approaches have shortcomings. Algorithmic information is not computable, severely limiting its practical usefulness. Shannon information refers to ensembles rather than actual events: it makes no sense to compute the Shannon information of a single string – or rather, there are many answers to this question depending on how a related ensemble is constructed. Although there are asymptotic results linking algorithmic and Shannon information, it is unsatisfying that there is such a large gap – a difference in kind – between the two measures. This note describes a new method of quantifying information, effective information, that links algorithmic information to Shannon information, and also links both to capacities arising in statistical learning theory [4, 5]. After introducing the measure, we show that it provides a non-universal analog of Kolmogorov complexity. We then apply it to derive basic capacities in statistical learning theory: empirical VC-entropy and empirical Rademacher complexity. A nice byproduct of our approach is an interpretation of the explanatory power of a learning algorithm in terms of the number of hypotheses it falsifies [6], counted in two different ways for the two capacities. We also discuss how effective information relates to information gain, Shannon and mutual information.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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A general linear non-Gaussian state-space model: Identifiability, identification, and applications

Zhang, K., Hyvärinen, A.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 20, pages: 113-128, (Editors: Hsu, C.-N. , W.S. Lee ), MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, USA, 3rd Asian Conference on Machine Learning (ACML), November 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
State-space modeling provides a powerful tool for system identification and prediction. In linear state-space models the data are usually assumed to be Gaussian and the models have certain structural constraints such that they are identifiable. In this paper we propose a non-Gaussian state-space model which does not have such constraints. We prove that this model is fully identifiable. We then propose an efficient two-step method for parameter estimation: one first extracts the subspace of the latent processes based on the temporal information of the data, and then performs multichannel blind deconvolution, making use of both the temporal information and non-Gaussianity. We conduct a series of simulations to illustrate the performance of the proposed method. Finally, we apply the proposed model and parameter estimation method on real data, including major world stock indices and magnetoencephalography (MEG) recordings. Experimental results are encouraging and show the practical usefulness of the proposed model and method.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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Non-stationary correction of optical aberrations

Schuler, C., Hirsch, M., Harmeling, S., Schölkopf, B.

In pages: 659-666 , (Editors: DN Metaxas and L Quan and A Sanfeliu and LJ Van Gool), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 13th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), November 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Taking a sharp photo at several megapixel resolution traditionally relies on high grade lenses. In this paper, we present an approach to alleviate image degradations caused by imperfect optics. We rely on a calibration step to encode the optical aberrations in a space-variant point spread function and obtain a corrected image by non-stationary deconvolution. By including the Bayer array in our image formation model, we can perform demosaicing as part of the deconvolution.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Learning low-rank output kernels

Dinuzzo, F., Fukumizu, K.

In JMLR Workshop and Conference Proceedings Volume 20, pages: 181-196, (Editors: Hsu, C.-N. , W.S. Lee), JMLR, Cambridge, MA, USA, 3rd Asian Conference on Machine Learning (ACML) , November 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Output kernel learning techniques allow to simultaneously learn a vector-valued function and a positive semidefinite matrix which describes the relationships between the outputs. In this paper, we introduce a new formulation that imposes a low-rank constraint on the output kernel and operates directly on a factor of the kernel matrix. First, we investigate the connection between output kernel learning and a regularization problem for an architecture with two layers. Then, we show that a variety of methods such as nuclear norm regularized regression, reduced-rank regression, principal component analysis, and low rank matrix approximation can be seen as special cases of the output kernel learning framework. Finally, we introduce a block coordinate descent strategy for learning low-rank output kernels.

PDF Web [BibTex]

PDF Web [BibTex]


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HHfrag: HMM-based fragment detection using HHpred

Kalev, I., Habeck, M.

Bioinformatics, 27(22):3110-3116, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Motivation: Over the last decade, both static and dynamic fragment libraries for protein structure prediction have been introduced. The former are built from clusters in either sequence or structure space and aim to extract a universal structural alphabet. The latter are tailored for a particular query protein sequence and aim to provide local structural templates that need to be assembled in order to build the full-length structure. Results: Here, we introduce HHfrag, a dynamic HMM-based fragment search method built on the profile–profile comparison tool HHpred. We show that HHfrag provides advantages over existing fragment assignment methods in that it: (i) improves the precision of the fragments at the expense of a minor loss in sequence coverage; (ii) detects fragments of variable length (6–21 amino acid residues); (iii) allows for gapped fragments and (iv) does not assign fragments to regions where there is no clear sequence conservation. We illustrate the usefulness of fragments detected by HHfrag on targets from most recent CASP.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Spatiotemporal mapping of rhythmic activity in the inferior convexity of the macaque prefrontal cortex

Panagiotaropoulos, T., Besserve, M., Crocker, B., Kapoor, V., Tolias, A., Panzeri, S., Logothetis, N.

41(239.15), 41st Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (Neuroscience), November 2011 (poster)

Abstract
The inferior convexity of the macaque prefrontal cortex (icPFC) is known to be involved in higher order processing of sensory information mediating stimulus selection, attention and working memory. Until now, the vast majority of electrophysiological investigations of the icPFC employed single electrode recordings. As a result, relatively little is known about the spatiotemporal structure of neuronal activity in this cortical area. Here we study in detail the spatiotemporal properties of local field potentials (LFP's) in the icPFC using multi electrode recordings during anesthesia. We computed the LFP-LFP coherence as a function of frequency for thousands of pairs of simultaneously recorded sites anterior to the arcuate and inferior to the principal sulcus. We observed two distinct peaks of coherent oscillatory activity between approximately 4-10 and 15-25 Hz. We then quantified the instantaneous phase of these frequency bands using the Hilbert transform and found robust phase gradients across recording sites. The dependency of the phase on the spatial location reflects the existence of traveling waves of electrical activity in the icPFC. The dominant axis of these traveling waves roughly followed the ventral-dorsal plane. Preliminary results show that repeated visual stimulation with a 10s movie had no dramatic effect on the spatial structure of the traveling waves. Traveling waves of electrical activity in the icPFC could reflect highly organized cortical processing in this area of prefrontal cortex.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Reward-Weighted Regression with Sample Reuse for Direct Policy Search in Reinforcement Learning

Hachiya, H., Peters, J., Sugiyama, M.

Neural Computation, 23(11):2798-2832, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Direct policy search is a promising reinforcement learning framework, in particular for controlling continuous, high-dimensional systems. Policy search often requires a large number of samples for obtaining a stable policy update estimator, and this is prohibitive when the sampling cost is expensive. In this letter, we extend an expectation-maximization-based policy search method so that previously collected samples can be efficiently reused. The usefulness of the proposed method, reward-weighted regression with sample reuse (R), is demonstrated through robot learning experiments.

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Model Learning in Robotics: a Survey

Nguyen-Tuong, D., Peters, J.

Cognitive Processing, 12(4):319-340, November 2011 (article)

Abstract
Models are among the most essential tools in robotics, such as kinematics and dynamics models of the robot's own body and controllable external objects. It is widely believed that intelligent mammals also rely on internal models in order to generate their actions. However, while classical robotics relies on manually generated models that are based on human insights into physics, future autonomous, cognitive robots need to be able to automatically generate models that are based on information which is extracted from the data streams accessible to the robot. In this paper, we survey the progress in model learning with a strong focus on robot control on a kinematic as well as dynamical level. Here, a model describes essential information about the behavior of the environment and the in uence of an agent on this environment. In the context of model based learning control, we view the model from three di fferent perspectives. First, we need to study the di erent possible model learning architectures for robotics. Second, we discuss what kind of problems these architecture and the domain of robotics imply for the applicable learning methods. From this discussion, we deduce future directions of real-time learning algorithms. Third, we show where these scenarios have been used successfully in several case studies.

PDF [BibTex]

PDF [BibTex]


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Fast removal of non-uniform camera shake

Hirsch, M., Schuler, C., Harmeling, S., Schölkopf, B.

In pages: 463-470 , (Editors: DN Metaxas and L Quan and A Sanfeliu and LJ Van Gool), IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, 13th IEEE International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV), November 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Camera shake leads to non-uniform image blurs. State-of-the-art methods for removing camera shake model the blur as a linear combination of homographically transformed versions of the true image. While this is conceptually interesting, the resulting algorithms are computationally demanding. In this paper we develop a forward model based on the efficient filter flow framework, incorporating the particularities of camera shake, and show how an efficient algorithm for blur removal can be obtained. Comprehensive comparisons on a number of real-world blurry images show that our approach is not only substantially faster, but it also leads to better deblurring results.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Stability Condition for Teleoperation System with Packet Loss

Hong, A., Cho, JH., Lee, DY.

In pages: 760-761, 2011 KSME Annual Fall Conference, November 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
This paper focuses on the stability condition of teleoperation system where there is a packet loss in communication channel. Communication channel between master and slave cause packet loss and it obviously leads to a performance degradation and instability of teleoperation system. We consider two-channel control architecture for teleoperation system, and control inputs to remote site are produced by position of master and slave. In this paper, teleoperation system is modeled in discrete domain to include packet loss process. Also, the stability condition for teleoperation system with packet loss is discussed with input-to-state stability. Finally, the stability condition is presented in LMI approach.

[BibTex]

[BibTex]


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FaST linear mixed models for genome-wide association studies

Lippert, C., Listgarten, J., Liu, Y., Kadie, CM., Davidson, RI., Heckerman, D.

Nature Methods, 8(10):833–835, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
We describe factored spectrally transformed linear mixed models (FaST-LMM), an algorithm for genome-wide association studies (GWAS) that scales linearly with cohort size in both run time and memory use. On Wellcome Trust data for 15,000 individuals, FaST-LMM ran an order of magnitude faster than current efficient algorithms. Our algorithm can analyze data for 120,000 individuals in just a few hours, whereas current algorithms fail on data for even 20,000 individuals (http://mscompbio.codeplex.com/).

PDF DOI [BibTex]

PDF DOI [BibTex]


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Evaluation and Optimization of MR-Based Attenuation Correction Methods in Combined Brain PET/MR

Mantlik, F., Hofmann, M., Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Kolb, A., Beyer, T., Reimold, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

2011(MIC18.M-96), 2011 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), October 2011 (poster)

Abstract
Combined PET/MR provides simultaneous molecular and functional information in an anatomical context with unique soft tissue contrast. However, PET/MR does not support direct derivation of attenuation maps of objects and tissues within the measured PET field-of-view. Valid attenuation maps are required for quantitative PET imaging, specifically for scientific brain studies. Therefore, several methods have been proposed for MR-based attenuation correction (MR-AC). Last year, we performed an evaluation of different MR-AC methods, including simple MR thresholding, atlas- and machine learning-based MR-AC. CT-based AC served as gold standard reference. RoIs from 2 anatomic brain atlases with different levels of detail were used for evaluation of correction accuracy. We now extend our evaluation of different MR-AC methods by using an enlarged dataset of 23 patients from the integrated BrainPET/MR (Siemens Healthcare). Further, we analyze options for improving the MR-AC performance in terms of speed and accuracy. Finally, we assess the impact of ignoring BrainPET positioning aids during the course of MR-AC. This extended study confirms the overall prediction accuracy evaluation results of the first evaluation in a larger patient population. Removing datasets affected by metal artifacts from the Atlas-Patch database helped to improve prediction accuracy, although the size of the database was reduced by one half. Significant improvement in prediction speed can be gained at a cost of only slightly reduced accuracy, while further optimizations are still possible.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Atlas- and Pattern Recognition Based Attenuation Correction on Simultaneous Whole-Body PET/MR

Bezrukov, I., Schmidt, H., Mantlik, F., Schwenzer, N., Hofmann, M., Schölkopf, B., Pichler, B.

2011(MIC18.M-116), 2011 IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium, Medical Imaging Conference (NSS-MIC), October 2011 (poster)

Abstract
With the recent availability of clinical whole-body PET/MRI it is possible to evaluate and further develop MR-based attenuation correction methods using simultaneously acquired PET/MR data. We present first results for MRAC on patient data acquired on a fully integrated whole-body PET/MRI (Biograph mMR, Siemens) using our method that applies atlas registration and pattern recognition (ATPR) and compare them to the segmentation-based (SEG) method provided by the manufacturer. The ATPR method makes use of a database of previously aligned pairs of MR-CT volumes to predict attenuation values on a continuous scale. The robustness of the method in presence of MR artifacts was improved by location and size based detection. Lesion to liver and lesion to blood ratios (LLR and LBR) were compared for both methods on 29 iso-contour ROIs in 4 patients. ATPR showed >20% higher LBR and LLR for ROIs in and >7% near osseous tissue. For ROIs in soft tissue, both methods yielded similar ratios with max. differences <6% . For ROIs located within metal artifacts in the MR image, ATPR showed >190% higher LLR and LBR than SEG, where ratios <0.1 occured. For lesions in the neighborhood of artifacts, both ratios were >15% higher for ATPR. If artifacts in MR volumes caused by metal implants are not accounted for in the computation of attenuation maps, they can lead to a strong decrease of lesion to background ratios, even to disappearance of hot spots. Metal implants are likely to occur in the patient collective receiving combined PET/MR scans, of our first 10 patients, 3 had metal implants. Our method is currently able to account for artifacts in the pelvis caused by prostheses. The ability of the ATPR method to account for bone leads to a significant increase of LLR and LBR in osseous tissue, which supports our previous evaluations with combined PET/CT and PET/MR data. For lesions within soft tissue, lesion to background ratios of ATPR and SEG were comparable.

Web [BibTex]

Web [BibTex]


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Retrospective blind motion correction of MR images

Loktyushin, A., Nickisch, H., Pohmann, R.

Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 24(Supplement 1):498, 28th Annual Scientific Meeting ESMRMB, October 2011 (poster)

Abstract
We present a retrospective method, which significantly reduces ghosting and blurring artifacts due to subject motion. No modifications to the sequence (as in [2, 3]), or the use of additional equipment (as in [1]) are required. Our method iteratively searches for the transformation, that applied to the lines in k-space -- yields the sparsest Laplacian filter output in the spatial domain.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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Model based reconstruction for GRE EPI

Blecher, W., Pohmann, R., Schölkopf, B., Seeger, M.

Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 24(Supplement 1):493-494, 28th Annual Scientific Meeting ESMRMB, October 2011 (poster)

Abstract
Model based nonlinear image reconstruction methods for MRI [3] are at the heart of modern reconstruction techniques (e.g.compressed sensing [6]). In general, models are expressed as a matrix equation where y and u are column vectors of k-space and image data, X model matrix and e independent noise. However, solving the corresponding linear system is not tractable. Therefore fast nonlinear algorithms that minimize a function wrt.the unknown image are the method of choice: In this work a model for gradient echo EPI, is proposed that incorporates N/2 Ghost correction and correction for field inhomogeneities. In addition to reconstruction from full data, the model allows for sparse reconstruction, joint estimation of image, field-, and relaxation-map (like [5,8] for spiral imaging), and improved N/2 ghost correction.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]


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The effect of noise correlations in populations of diversely tuned neurons

Ecker, A., Berens, P., Tolias, A., Bethge, M.

Journal of Neuroscience, 31(40):14272-14283, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
The amount of information encoded by networks of neurons critically depends on the correlation structure of their activity. Neurons with similar stimulus preferences tend to have higher noise correlations than others. In homogeneous populations of neurons, this limited range correlation structure is highly detrimental to the accuracy of a population code. Therefore, reduced spike count correlations under attention, after adaptation, or after learning have been interpreted as evidence for a more efficient population code. Here, we analyze the role of limited range correlations in more realistic, heterogeneous population models. We use Fisher information and maximum-likelihood decoding to show that reduced correlations do not necessarily improve encoding accuracy. In fact, in populations with more than a few hundred neurons, increasing the level of limited range correlations can substantially improve encoding accuracy. We found that this improvement results from a decrease in noise entropy that is associated with increasing correlations if the marginal distributions are unchanged. Surprisingly, for constant noise entropy and in the limit of large populations, the encoding accuracy is independent of both structure and magnitude of noise correlations.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Attenuation correction in MR-BrainPET with segmented T1-weighted MR images of the patient’s head: A comparative study with CT

Wagenknecht, G., Rota Kops, E., Mantlik, F., Fried, E., Pilz, T., Hautzel, H., Tellmann, L., Pichler, B., Herzog, H.

In pages: 2261-2266 , IEEE, Piscataway, NJ, USA, IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference (NSS/MIC), October 2011 (inproceedings)

Abstract
Our method for attenuation correction (AC) in MR-BrainPET with segmented T1-weighted MR images of the pa-tient's head was applied to data from different MR-BrainPET scanners (Jülich, Tübingen) and compared to CT-based results. The study objectives presented in this paper are twofold. The first objective is to examine if the segmentation method developed for and successfully applied to 3D MP-RAGE data can also be used to segment other T1-weighted MR data such as 3D FLASH data. The second aim is to show if the similarity of segmented MR-based (SBA) and CT-based AC (CBA) obtained at HR+ PET can also be confirmed for BrainPET for which the new AC method is intended for. In order to reach the first objective, 14 segmented MR data sets (three 3D MP-RAGE data sets from Jülich and eleven 3D FLASH data sets from Tubingen) were compared to the resp. CT data based on the Dice coefficient and scatter plots. For bone, a CT threshold HU>;500 was applied. Dice coefficients (mean±std) for the upper cranial part of the skull, the skull above cavities, and in the caudal part including the cerebellum are 0.73±0.1, 0.79±0.04, and 0.49±0.02 for the Jülich data and 0.7U0.1, 0.72±0.1, and 0.60±0.05 for the Tubingen data. To reach the second aim, SBA and CBA were compared for six subjects based on VOI (AAL atlas) analysis. Mean absolute relative difference (maRD) values are maRD(JUFVBWl-FDG): 0.99%±0.83%, maRD(JüFVBW2-FDG): 0.90%±0.89%, and maRD(JUEP-Fluma- zenil): 1.85%±1.25% for the Jülich data and maRD(TuTP02- FDG): 2.99%±1.65%, maRD(TuNP01-FDG): 5.37%±2.29%, and maRD(TuNP02-FDG): 6.52%±1.69% for the three best-segmented Tübingen data sets. The results show similar segmentation quality for both Tl- weighted MR sequence types. The application to AC in BrainPET - hows a high similarity to CT-based AC if the standardized ACF value for bone used in SBA is in good accordance to the bone density of the patient in question.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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Analysis of Fixed-Point and Coordinate Descent Algorithms for Regularized Kernel Methods

Dinuzzo, F.

IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks, 22(10):1576-1587, October 2011 (article)

Abstract
In this paper, we analyze the convergence of two general classes of optimization algorithms for regularized kernel methods with convex loss function and quadratic norm regularization. The first methodology is a new class of algorithms based on fixed-point iterations that are well-suited for a parallel implementation and can be used with any convex loss function. The second methodology is based on coordinate descent, and generalizes some techniques previously proposed for linear support vector machines. It exploits the structure of additively separable loss functions to compute solutions of line searches in closed form. The two methodologies are both very easy to implement. In this paper, we also show how to remove non-differentiability of the objective functional by exactly reformulating a convex regularization problem as an unconstrained differentiable stabilization problem.

Web DOI [BibTex]

Web DOI [BibTex]


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A biomimetic approach to robot table tennis

Mülling, K., Kober, J., Peters, J.

Adaptive Behavior , 19(5):359-376 , October 2011 (article)

Abstract
Playing table tennis is a difficult motor task that requires fast movements, accurate control and adaptation to task parameters. Although human beings see and move slower than most robot systems, they significantly outperform all table tennis robots. One important reason for this higher performance is the human movement generation. In this paper, we study human movements during table tennis and present a robot system that mimics human striking behavior. Our focus lies on generating hitting motions capable of adapting to variations in environmental conditions, such as changes in ball speed and position. Therefore, we model the human movements involved in hitting a table tennis ball using discrete movement stages and the virtual hitting point hypothesis. The resulting model was evaluated both in a physically realistic simulation and on a real anthropomorphic seven degrees of freedom Barrett WAM™ robot arm.

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]

PDF Web DOI [BibTex]